As an alumna of Edinburgh College of Art and having worked as a professional textile designer for many years, I had an urge to draw and paint again, a different expression of creativity from my styling. My love of flowers and drawing were combined in a capsule collection of twenty original floral ink drawings that I made available for sale. The drawings are expressive direct studies of flowers, using Indian ink and Chinese brushes on off-white, acid-free 300gsm art paper.
I framed the drawings and styled them at home where photographer Beth Evans captured these images.
Produced in early 2015, each drawing is unique, signed and dated on the front and available for purchase directly from me or through Little Lake Flowers.
All drawings sold out before it was possible to make them available for purchase online.
To be notified about the further release of new drawings for sale please use the contact form.
Last August I was delighted to be asked design the dinner setting and co-host a very special evening with Jemima Burrill, curator of NOW Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula, to celebrate women in design. The event, that we themed ‘texture’, saw some of the most talented female designers in the UK come together to celebrate and discuss their work, including Sonnet Stanfill, curator at the V&A and Helen Arvanitakis from Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio.
The evening opened with a talk from fashion designer Phoebe English, whose work was was shown in an accompanying exhibition. In conversation with Jemima Burrill she spoke about her journey from student to fashion designer and her love of using traditional ‘forgotten’ crafts.
The dinner was held in the Tom Dixon show apartment at Greenwich Peninsula. I set three long dinner tables with charcoal linens, hand-drawn chalked lines and bespoke place settings using my original ink drawings. I designed the table setting to complement Phoebe English’s exhibition and her largest installation to date.
The evening continued with garden designer Alys Fowler describing her inspiration for the design of the new gardens at Greenwich Peninsula which is rich in texture and flora. We then heard from Helen Arvanitakis from Tom Dixon Studio who spoke about her design concepts and inspiration behind the studio’s work and the products that feature in the show apartment at Greenwich Peninsula. The evening’s last speaker, Sonnet Stanfill gave guests an insight into her role at the V&A as a curator and a buyer of 20th century design for the museum.
The table settings were created from stitched paper place mats, hand painted place name cards, ceramics from Flow Gallery and Yuki Sugiura, candles from Tom Dixon and vases that I wrapped with leather.
I invited one of London’s leading florists Simone Gooch of Fjura to create beautiful floral arrangements.
The event ended with a wonderful night of informal discussion and amazing dinner provided by michelin-starred chef Stevie Parle and his neighbouring restaurant Craft London.
The evening gave women from many design disciplines a rare opportunity to come together to informally discuss their work and the design industry in a relaxed, inspiring environment. It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all, that stimulated debate and celebrated the wealth of female talent in the UK creating exceptional design.
A very big thank you to all who helped make the evening such a success.
NOW Gallery is a new public exhibition space for contemporary art and design on London’s Greenwich Peninsula. A permanent, free gallery which features work by a programme of unique three-month commissions from established and emerging artists, designers and other creative practitioners. Find out more.
April 10, 2016 in food styling
These photographs were shot for Open Blue, the world’s leading mariculture farm situated off the coast of Panama. Their premium quality fish are raised in a natural and controlled environment in the world’s largest open ocean farm and supplied to the global restaurant industry.
As prop stylist I sourced backgrounds, surfaces and culinary props to show the beauty and texture of the fish in its raw state and also how it can be prepared and used in raw and cooked dishes. Working with Allies Design Studio, photographer Uli Schade and food stylist Peta O’Brien, we created a series of pure images that let the fish do the talking.
Open Blue Cobia fish are farmed in a sustainable way in farms in the open water in Panama, working in harmony with the ocean and ecosystem, and many experts call it the world’s most sustainable aquaculture operation.
Cobia is a pure, healthy, versatile white fish that is offered in high quality sashimi grade, so can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Its taste is a rich buttery flavor it is uniquely delicious any way you prepare it.
I have always had a love of craft and purchased it for my home. As an interior stylist I have always drawn to beautiful handmade, handcrafted items and used them in my shoots. They add personality and soul to a photograph and to a home. I discovered Flow Gallery around 15 years ago and it is one of the galleries I have always bought from and borrowed their exquisite pieces and got to know the owner, Yvonna Demczynska, over the years. Yvonne had one of my postcards – a photo from one of my for Elle Decoration stories – displayed on her pinboard for years and at a couple of charity evenings at the gallery, she told me her plans about redeveloping the gallery into an exciting new live/work gallery space and asked me if I would like to curate an exhibition for when the new gallery opened. I was thrilled.
Line Up is an exhibition of contemporary craft that examines shape, pattern and texture within a monochrome palette. The shapes of the handmade objects are graphic and bold with expressive mark making. Compositions of objects are explored, and still lives created that could be displayed in any home. The ceramics selected have a graphic, handmade quality, strong shapes, with some pieces decorated with expressive markings. All pieces are for sale and prices start from £45.00.
The makers selected are a mixture of artists, some I have longstanding relationships with, some are well-known designers I have not yet worked with before but admired, and some are new ceramists who graduated last Summer. Artists include: Akiko Hirai, Astrid Keller, Bettina Dittlmann, Derek Wilson, Dr Tim Willey, Hyu Jin Jo, Kaori Tatebayashi, Nicola Tassie, Jochem de Wit, Silvia K, Theo Adamson and Akiko Hirai.
One inspiration for styling the show was Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, which had a lasting impression on me since my first visit in my teens. It is a magical place, the home where Jim Ede, a former curator at the Tate, avid art collector and promoter of the contemporary artists of his day, pioneered art and craft in a domestic context. The idea for the show was to display items as still lives that could be lifted and placed on a mantlepiece or shelf in any home and it fitted perfectly with Yvonna’s new live/work gallery space.
As I wanted to incorporate the Kettle’s Yard influence of craft and art, I have also created a series of paintings especially for the show. They began as textured backgrounds to add to the composition and as a styling tool to frame the ceramics, but also as artworks that could stand alone. They are abstracts on canvas of fleeting views through train windows, florals, sea and landscapes and mainly inspired by nature. A love of painting was reignited at the Slade School of Art where my painted work became about horizons and strong ‘line’ visual which sits with the exhibition theme.
I have also included vintage chairs from Béton Brut to add an additional domestic feel to the gallery space.
The exhibition is showing until 15th May 2015 so if you are in West London then do stop by at:
1-5 Needham Road
Opening times: Mon and Tuesday 2pm – 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm. Closed Sunday.
All of the items on display are able to be purchased from Flow Gallery and prices range from £45 to £1000.
I took a few quick snaps just before the guests arrived for the packed private view! I also want to say a very big thank you to Yvonna for giving me this opportunity and to the Flow team for a fantastic private view.
The exhibition runs until 15th May so please do visit, I hope you enjoy it.
You can also see more photos from my shoot with Beth Evans here.
September 24, 2014 in interior styling
Earlier in the year I worked with Beth Evans on this colour story. I had been styling a lot of food and tabletop shoots and this influenced the story and led to using Nature Paint‘s powdered paint products. The act of mixing the paint became similar to cooking and baking. We decided to make the story pale and neutral – the soft colours of pastel confectionary, sugared almonds, pale pinks sitting next to tangerine and aubergine. Soft whites like meringue, whipped from powder into paint. I made little dishes, bowls and discs from air-drying clay that I could paint in the pale tones and food was used to prop the story and create an ambiguity between the processes.
We created a short Issuu publication to show the images. Please click to view it full screen.
We hope you enjoy it.
Thank you to Nature Paint for providing the paint for this story. Find out more about their ethos and colour range on the Nature Paint website.
To see more of Beth Evan’s work please click here.
I had the pleasure of being asked to style this month’s Style Steal for Elle Decoration magazine as part of their 25 year anniversary celebration. My brief was to scour the major brands from the British high street for the best 100 finds under £100 and to celebrate accessible, affordable and stylish products for our homes in a unified photo story. We all need a fix of newness in our home every now and again and most of the time practicality calls, but sometimes a new piece of beautiful crockery, some storage, a cushion or new light can give our home a lift especially when they don’t break the bank.
I shot with the talented Danish interiors photographer Heidi Lerkenfeldt who flew over to shoot the story especially for Elle Deco.
I divided the story into, shelving, kitchen/dining, living/study, bedroom and bathroom over 9 pages and found lots of great products that belie their super value.
The products featured are high street brands including Anthropologie, BHS, The Conran Shop, Debenhams, French Connection, Habitat, H&M, Heal’s, House of Fraser, Ikea, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Muji, Next, Toast, The White Company and Zara Home.
The June issue of Elle Decoration magazine is out now.
What would you choose?
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a contributing stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for 16 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.